Some of the stories and discussions we’ve spotted online this week:
Art thefts in Italy
Three small panel paintings have been stolen from the Castello Sforzesco in Milan this week, the second major art theft in Italy in as many weeks. On 14 August it emerged that a Guercino painting had been taken from a church in Modena.
Zaha Hadid sues for defamation
Martin Filler has apologised for his erroneous suggestion in The New York Review of Books that workers have died constructing Hadid’s Al-Wakrah stadium in Qatar – work hasn’t started on the structure yet. But does that negate Hadid’s own comments earlier this year, that it isn’t her duty as an architect to look into concerns about working conditions on the larger site?
Gagosian vs. Perelman
There’s a potentially explosive legal battle brewing between Larry Gagosian and his former friend Ron Perelman. Perelman claims that the influential art dealer paired up with José Mugrabi in 2011 to manipulate the price of a Cy Twombly work he had expressed interest in.
Cultural destruction in Syria and Iraq: how bad is it?
The IS’s targeted destruction of religious and cultural sites in the Middle East is a source of growing concern, but – as a recent report in The Art Newspaper explains – with so many conflicting and contested reports, and the group’s own propagandist claims, it is proving difficult to keep track of the problem.
Aurélie Filippetti quits as French Culture Secretary
It’s been a tumultuous week for the French government, as a major split in the cabinet provoked an unscheduled reshuffle. Aurélie Filippetti, frustrated by France’s ongoing austerity measures and major cuts to the arts, stepped down as Culture Secretary to be replaced by rising star Fleur Pellerin.
Digging for gold at the Folkestone Triennial
Anyone braving the weather on the beach at Folkestone tonight could end up taking home their very own piece of buried treasure. Artist Michael Sailstorfer has hidden £10,000 worth of gold bars in the Kent sands, and whoever finds them, keeps them.
Painting with ketchup: Lowry painting gets a clean
Dirt, varnish and soot from candles are among the most common challenges conservators face when cleaning paintings. Ketchup stains crop up rather less often… Thankfully, the sauce stains on two L S Lowry paintings have been successfully removed before going on display at The Lowry in Salford.